Elkins Lynne J.

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Lynne J.

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  • Thesis
    Basalt petrogenesis beneath slow- and ultraslow-spreading Arctic mid-ocean ridges
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2009-02) Elkins, Lynne J.
    To explore the ability of melting mafic lithologies to produce alkaline ocean-island basalts (OIB), an experimental study was carried out measuring clinopyroxene (Cpx)- melt and garnet (Gt)-melt partition coefficients during silica-poor garnet pyroxenite melting for a suite of trace elements, including U and Th, at 2.5GPa and 1420-1450°C. Partition coefficients range from 0.0083±0.0006 to 0.020±0.002 for Th and 0.0094±0.0006 to 0.024±0.002 for U in Cpx, and are 0.0032±0.0004 for Th and 0.013±0.002 for U in Gt. Forward-melting calculations using these experimental results to model time-dependent uranium-series isotopes do not support the presence of a fixed quantity of garnet pyroxenite in the source of OIB. To use U-series isotopes to further constrain mantle heterogeneity and the timing and nature of melting and melt transport processes, U-Th-Pa-Ra disequilibria, radiogenic isotopes, and trace-element compositions were measured for the slow-spreading Arctic mid-ocean ridges (MOR). A focused case study of 33 young (<10ka) MOR basalts (MORB) from the shallow endmember of the global ridge system, the Kolbeinsey Ridge (67°05’-70°26’N) found that unaltered Kolbeinsey MORB have universally high (230Th/238U) (1.165-1.296) and relatively uniform (230Th/232Th) (1.196-1.324), εNd (8.43- 10.49), 87Sr/86Sr (0.70274-0.70301), εHf (16.59-19.56), and Pb isotopes (e.g. 208Pb/206Pb = 2.043-2.095). This suggests a homogeneous mantle source and a long peridotite melting column produces the thick Kolbeinsey crust. Trace element ratios suggest a young, depleted mantle source. Data from the slow- to ultraslow Mohns and Knipovich Ridges north of Kolbeinsey form a sloped array, and (230Th/232Th) correlates systematically with radiogenic isotopic variations. These data are readily reproduced by models for heterogeneous mantle melting. MORB from 85ºE on the global ultraslow-spreading endmember Gakkel Ridge are homogeneously depleted with low (230Th/238U) and high (226Ra/230Th) that lie along a global negative correlation. Arctic data support a global mantle temperature control on mean (230Th/238U).